In a spot on piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Costi Hinn calls for Christians to get back to the basics, meaning biblical Christianity. He raises a two fold question: “What in the world has happened to the body of Christ and what semblance of biblical orthodoxy will be left for our children and grandchildren?” The way things are going, the younger generation will grow up with scant knowledge of what God’s Word says and they’ll trust, not in the authority of the infallible Word of God, but instead they’ll lay aside their bibles and trust in extra biblical revelation uttered by infallible men.
In this short blog post, Hinn exposes some of the errors professing Christians have bought into, not realizing that they’re actually believing lies from the pit of hell. How could this be? Two words: Biblical illiteracy.
Now to Hinn’s piece:
Where do you draw the charismatic line?
30 years ago nobody would’ve given this question much thought because it was easy to answer. People either liked Benny Hinn or thought he was crazy. People thought Kathryn Kuhlman was a great woman of God or a dramatic fraud. People were largely conservative, or charismatic. They either spoke in tongues that made no sense or viewed the practice as foolish and unbiblical.
It wasn’t a perfect Christian world, but at least there was some clarity.
In an impassioned address Friday, Pope Francis denied the existence of Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”
“Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist,” Francis said in his speech to a world meeting of populist movements.
What he apparently meant is that not all Christians are terrorists and not all Muslims are terrorists—a fact evident to all—yet his words also seemed to suggest that no specifically Islamic form of terrorism exists in the world, an assertion that stands in stark contradiction to established fact.
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13. 14 NASB)
A few years ago before I began working from home fulltime and was still working from an office outside of our data center, a fellow from another department who I was working with on an issue made a comment about some of my devotional stuff and my small Bible that I carried in my computer bag, which were laying on my desk. I knew that he had at one time been a Methodist pastor, but had left the ministry. I have no idea what the history of that was. The comment he made was an incredulous statement in which he questioned how I would ever find the time to spend “doing that” as busy as I was. I told him that I did that when I first got to work in the morning before anyone else was there after I had done all my server checkups. At that time I was working my way through R. C. Sproul’s book Chosen By God and it was lying there as well. He asked when I read that. I told him I did that as I ate lunch. He picked it up and read the back cover and then put it down quickly like it burned his hand then made another incredulous statement, “You’re a Calvinist!”
The Washington State Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a ruling against a florist accused of discrimination because she declined to fulfill an order for floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding and instead offered a referral. John Stonestreet of CNSNews provides the details:
The Washington State Supreme Court has punished a florist for running her business according to her faith.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Washington State issued its much-anticipated opinion in State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers.
The only way to see this decision is as a major setback for religious freedom.
The case involved an anti-discrimination complaint brought against Barronelle Stutzman, the 71-year-old owner of Arlene’s Flowers, and I might add, one of the nicest people on the planet. Three years ago, a long-time customer whom Stutzman considered to be a friend, asked her to create a floral arrangement for his same-sex wedding.
For some perspective on the Church of England controversy, it’s a good idea to listen to Dr. Albert Mohler address what’s really going on. Click here to listen to Mohler’s The Briefing. To read the transcript, scroll down to “Church of England…”
Now to The Telegraph report:
The Church of England’s crucial vote on gay marriage has been thrown into doubt after the Bishop of Coventry admitted he accidentally voted against the report and several others may have made the same mistake.
The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth apologised for the mistake last night, which he said was because of “a moment of distraction and some confusion over the voting process”.
The bishop insisted that he did in fact support the report written by his colleagues and was “embarrassed” to have accidentally rejected it.
1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:1-2 (NASB)
9 But you are A chosen race, A royal priesthood, A holy nation, A people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NASB)
Until 2004 I could not stand to read some Old Testament books such as Leviticus and Job. I would read them only to find my mind wandering off in all directions. It was frustrating. However, something wonderful happened after God changed me over a period of about 8 months from January through August. I don’t know exactly what He did or how He did it, but I do know that until that time I was very religious, but very self-focused. I loved the Lord, and served in many capacities in church. I was a Bible teacher. However, the rest of the time I was totally self-focused. I was fleshly. I was focused on my own desires. However, at the same time, I was very frustrated with my lack of self-control. I desperately wanted victory over these things.
What is Romanticism? In a nutshell, Romanticism was born in the late 1700’s and is described as an artistic and intellectual movement characterized by a heightened interest in the beauty of nature, imagination, and intense emotional expression. According to Bruce W. Davidson, professor at Hokusei Gakuen University, Romanticism has made a comeback and is having a huge influence on our postmodern culture. Not surprisingly, Romanticism has also reared its ugly head in the visible Church. “Religious Romanticism can take people very far from sensible living, even into dangerous territory,” warns Davidson. The dangerous territory he speaks of is emotionalism. “Among Christians, that trend has taken the form of a rebellion against a focus on theology and an emphasis on religious experience.”
You can read Bruce Davidson’s piece over at American Thinker:
On January 2, about fifty thousand young adults gathered in Atlanta to participate in the Passion 2017 conference. People outside evangelicalism might imagine something named “Passion” to be an event for romantic novelists or their fans, but it was actually a kind of religious pep rally. The title typifies a significant religious shift of recent years, one turning away from doctrine and toward emotion – a kind of religious Romanticism. Nowadays, numerous Christian books, conferences, and even churches bear the word “passion” in their titles. In past eras, church people congregated to debate doctrinal and moral issues; now they hold events to celebrate their emotions.
The original Romantic movement of the early nineteenth century was basically a reaction against Enlightenment rationalism, with its elevation of science and cold rationality above everything else. In opposition, the Romantics celebrated sensation, feeling, and aesthetics. Adopting a therapeutic view of human existence, the Romantics often also held society to blame for mankind’s problems, not inborn sinful inclinations – the latter according with the historic view of Christianity. Their optimistic view of human nature has undergirded much of the political agitation and clamor of subsequent times for radical change.
According to Christian News:
Virgin Mary Queen of Heaven
The International Marian Association has requested that the leader of Roman Catholicism, Jorge Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, refer to Mary as “co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer” during the 100th year anniversary of the purported apparitions of Mary in Fatima, Portugal.
The Theological Commission of the Marian Association, which is comprised of 30 supportive entities, including Vatican Secretariat of State Florian Kolfhaus, Andrew Apostoli of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), Elias Mary of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Sanctuary in Wisconsin, and Michael O’Neill and Christopher Padgett of the Mariological Society of America, recently released a 10-page document outlining why Mary is deserving of the title.
It states that Mary passed on her sinless nature—given to her by God at conception—to Jesus, that He might redeem the world from sin. Through her willing human participation in the Father’s divine means of saving wicked men, the Commission contends, she is the “New Eve” just as Jesus is the “New Adam.”
See our Research Paper on the Roman Catholic Church
John MacArthur of Grace to You presents his view of the essential doctrines of the faith:
To begin with, the strongest words of condemnation in all the New Testament are aimed at false teachers who corrupt the Gospel. Therefore the Gospel message itself must be acknowledged as a primary point of fundamental doctrine.
But what message will determine the content of our gospel testimony? The biblical message of instantaneous justification through faith alone-or a system of rituals and sacraments that are supposed to convey grace to the participants with no guarantee of ultimate salvation? What authority will we point people to? The Scriptures alone-or a papal hierarchy and church tradition? Those two gospels are flatly contradictory and mutually exclusive.
All these considerations determine what message we proclaim and whether that message is the authentic Gospel of true Christianity. Therefore we are dealing with matters that go to the very heart of the doctrines Scripture identifies as fundamental.
Can we get more specific? Let’s turn to Scripture itself and attempt to lay out some biblical principles for determining which articles of faith are truly essential to authentic Christianity.
Lighthouse Trails has a piece that deals with some of the garbage that is being promoted by “Christian” leaders such as Tony Campolo, Ann Voskamp and Dr. Daniel Amen. Ever heard of Tantric sex? Well you’re about to — no details are given. This is one of those blog posts we dislike publishing; however, in order for the Body of Christ to become informed as to what’s trending in the Christian community, we believe it’s necessary. So – read it and weep:
Bridal spirituality was a common theme of medieval nun Teresa of Avila’s books where she records a vision she allegedly had in which the Lord Jesus appeared and declared they were married.
LTRP Note: This short article might be disturbing to read, but what is being described here is happening now in the church. Please take heed and pray for discernment as you listen to Christian speakers and read their books. The links below this article are to articles that substantiate what Lynn Lusby Pratt is saying.
By Lynn Lusby Pratt
About a decade ago, I became aware of the new wave of false teaching entering the church. One aspect of that teaching hinted that our experience with Jesus was (should be?) sexual. (Christians who use a mantra, as in contemplative prayer, and go into an altered state of consciousness sometimes have erotic experiences, which they mistakenly believe to be “union” with God/Jesus.) There was new interest in/promotion of the “bridal mysticism” of medieval nuns like Teresa of Avila: “Body and spirit are in the throes of a sweet, happy pain . . . and a spell of strangulation . . . swoon-like weakness . . .” There were quotes in Christian books, like Tony Campolo saying, “There is nothing wrong . . . with eroticism in worship.” And Ann Voskamp: “Mystical union. . . . God as Husband in sacred wedlock, bound together, body and soul. . . . To know him the way Adam knew Eve. Spirit skin to spirit skin . . .” [One Thousand Gifts, p. 217]. Ken Wilson: “I was having feelings of connection with the divine . . . [that] reminded me very much of the amorous feelings I have for my wife” [Mystically Wired, p. 27].
Amy Spreeman of Berean Research has some questions for those who are supposed to shepherd their flocks:
These questions are for elders, pastors and ministry leaders who outsource the feeding of their female sheep to women’s conferences like the IF Gathering. I ask because it seems like a huge discernment disconnect that you would trust your women in the hands of those who themselves lack discernment.
Were you wondering why this year’s 2017 IF Speaker lineup did not appear on the website except to registrants? Were you reassured last October when IF Gathering founder Jennie Allen gently, regretfully, and tearfully distanced herself from her bestie Jen Hatmaker over the homosexual marriage issue? Were you relieved to learn that Hatmaker (Also an IF founder), mysteriously disappeared from the IF Gathering lineup of speakers? Are you convinced Allen is wise and discerning?
“Don’t ever think that Islamic states are stuck in past civilizations,” cautions Technocracy News, “rather, they are leading the world into Sustainable Development and Technocracy.” Gulf News has the story:
The UAE will build the first city on Mars as part of the 2117 Mars project in collaboration with specialised international organisations and scientific institutes.
The Mars 2117 Project was announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
As part of a 100-year national programme, the UAE will set a plan to prepare national cadres that can achieve scientific breakthroughs to facilitate the transport of people to the Red Planet over the next decades.
The 100-year plan will involve scientific research programmes to nurture national cadres specialised in space sciences at universities in the UAE. It will also entrench a passion for space in younger generations.
Jeff Maples admonishes Southern Baptists to wake up and smell the coffee, as they’re being led astray by undiscerning SBC leaders such as Johnny Hunt. According to Maples, “The infiltration of God-denying and Holy Spirit blaspheming charlatans and false teachers into bible-believing churches is increasing exponentially.” In this piece over at Pulpit & Pen, he reveals who some of these wolves in sheep’s clothing are and what they’re up to. He writes:
I have a prickly feeling in my neck right now. It came from the double facepalm I gave myself when I found out what FBC Woodstock is up to. Just when you think Johnny Hunt is trying to do things right, you find out he’s up to some other shenanigans. Hunt, who recently apparently denounced the sex predator Clayton Jennings, is the senior pastor of the flagship Southern Baptist Church in Atlanta Georgia, FBC Woodstock. Hunt is certainly a mixed bag of nuts as his church is hosting David Platt’s Secret Church, a relatively solid bible teaching program, in April of 2017, he’s also hosting the Outcry Tour in May.
The Outcry Tour is a mishmash of false teachers and Holy Ghost blasphemers. The main participants in the tour are Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship, Steven Furtick, Levi Lusko, and Lauren Daigle. According to the website…
Scott Swain of Ligonier Ministries weighs in on the importance of believers receiving, confessing and following sound doctrine. He writes:
When I was young, I only thought of my future: Whom would I marry? What vocation would I pursue? Where would I live? Now that I am the father of four children, I think only of their futures.
As he approached the final days of his ministry, the Apostle Paul set his thoughts on the future well-being of Timothy, his “beloved child” in the faith (2 Tim. 1:2). He wrote to him about the things that matter most for life and ministry. Not only did Paul commend to his young protégé the glorious gospel of God (vv. 8–10) and the divinely inspired Scriptures (3:16–17), but he also instructed Timothy regarding the importance of sound doctrine: “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (1:13–14). According to Paul, doctrine is among the things that matter most for the well-being of the Christian and the church. Sound, or “healthy,” doctrine provides a pattern that, when followed, promotes healthy faith and love. Sound doctrine is a valuable heritage that is to be treasured in this generation and faithfully transmitted to the next (2:2).
What is doctrine? In its basic sense, doctrine is any sort of teaching. The Bible, for example, talks about the teachings of men (Mark 7:7–8), the teachings of demons (1 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:24), and the teachings of God (John 6:45; 1 Thess. 4:9; 1 John 2:27). Here, we are concerned with divine teaching, the teaching of God. According to one definition, doctrine is teaching from God about God that directs us to the glory of God. This definition provides a helpful anatomy of sound doctrine, identifying doctrine’s source, object, and ultimate end. We will consider these elements of sound doctrine.
According to New York Post columnist Paul Sperry, former president Barack Obama is “gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country” to sabotage Trump’s presidency. “Now is the time for some organizing,” Obama said in a conference call. “So don’t mope.” Who has he recruited? Young liberal activists who are currently being trained to become community organizers. Sperry reveals that once the activists are trained, OFA will arm them with Obama’s 2012 campaign database. The plan is to “get out the vote for Democratic candidates it’s grooming to win back Congress and erect a wall of resistance to Trump at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Now to Paul Sperry’s article:
When former President Barack Obama said he was “heartened” by anti-Trump protests, he was sending a message of approval to his troops. Troops? Yes, Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.
In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.
Amy Spreeman has the story:
Should Christians ever use and consume entertaining apostasy like the heretical The Shack movie to witness to those who aren’t Christians?
Cru™ (Formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), is promoting its free ticket giveaway to college students to see the film and take their friends. And in an almost apologetic way, the ticket site includes a caveat stating that Cru “does not endorse the movie.” That’s the small-font italicized quip at the very bottom of the website’s page. A footnote.
Free tickets. Not endorsing.
Without giving any warning or explanation as to why they don’t endorse, the site provides four videos from Cru and Family Life leadership clearly endorsing and encouraging movie lovers to not miss this “wonderful” film.
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:12-17 (NASB)
The number one accusation thrown at those who take up the armor of God and use it in the battle as they are called to do, is that they are full of pride. Those who use this fiery dart are equating certainty with pride. Extra-Biblical revelation should never be used in the battle by God’s warriors. Instead, the source of truth that is used is the sword of the Spirit itself, the Word of God. Experience is extra-Biblical. Man’s teachings, if contrary to the Word of God, are extra-Biblical. One’s own private interpretation of Scripture and/or experience is extra-Biblical.
These battles may appear to cause disunity in the Body, but unity that is held together through compromise is false. Christians should never seek to be yoked up with those who hold doctrine or beliefs that are contrary to the truth from God’s Word or are based solely on extra Biblical sources. Unity in the Body of Christ is commanded in God’s Word, but that unity is not based in compromise, but love and humility within those who are obedient to the truth.
In part 2 of a series on how to spot evil, Elizabeth Prata of The End Times deals with narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths of society. She explains how to spot people, including professing Christians, who exhibit antisocial behavior — and her depiction of these people is chilling. Evil “does come in a beautiful package,” says Prata. She warns us not to be, “lulled by Hollywood’s depiction of it and don’t be fooled if you unfortunately meet up with this kind of beautiful and deadly evil.”
What does the Bible tell us about evil? “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). So now listen to Elizabeth describe what’s under the light so that you won’t be fooled by appearances. She writes:
In part 1, I began with a reminder that evil exists. This reminder is necessary nowadays due to the increasing penchant of people to deny the fundamentals of the faith.
I also established that though we are all evil pre-salvation, there are degrees of evil within people that are more deadly than others. Not everyone is as bad as they could be, but some people are. These essays are about how not to be deluded if you unfortunately encounter one of these more evil people.
I ended the previous essay by showing that two of the most beautiful living organisms in the world are also beautiful, the very deadly water hemlock plant, and the deadly but beautiful cone snail. Oftentimes it is the most beautiful that is the most deadly.
“One of the most saddening things hurled out of Bethel is a vigorous “ministry” geared towards children,” states Bud Ahlheim. He’s speaking of the infamous Bethel Church in Redding, CA, pastored by New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) “Super Apostle” Bill Johnson. Ahlheim continues:
The effort is couched sufficiently in Christianese and slathered with enough of a “Jesus loves the little children” veneer that makes the endeavors seem noble, authentic, and upright. But the depth of false teaching behind the shiny, welcoming veneer is toxic to the true Christian faith and reveals an effort to indoctrinate children into the bootleg Bethel brand of unbiblical supernatural religion.
In this piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Ahlheim alerts us to the K-8 private school operated by Bethel, a so-called church that no discerning pastor would wish to emulate, that indoctrinates Redding youngsters into what Bud terms “voo-doo ‘Christianity.'” He begins with a quote by Charles H. Spurgeon:
Nothing short of the total destruction of a believer will ever satisfy our adversary. Satan would rend the believer in pieces, break his bones, and utterly destroy him if he could. Do not, therefore, indulge the thought that the main purpose of Satan is to make you miserable. Satan is pleased with that, but that is not his ultimate end. Sometimes he may even make you happy, for he has dainty poisons sweet to the taste that he administers to God’s people. If he feels that our destruction can be more readily achieved by sweets than by bitters, he certainly would prefer that which would best effect his end.
According to The Christian Institute:
Marriage is “associated with more family stability for children across the globe”, and cohabitation “typically associated with more instability”, a new study has found.
The report by the Social Trends Institute also stated that there is a “growing consensus” that children are more likely to thrive in a stable family than in an unstable one.
Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman of the Marriage Foundation, called the report a “wake-up call” for the UK and called for the Government to act.